So I talked to my brother on my birthday. We had a nice chat regarding my earlier proposition about how non-crazy Republicans should be voting this election. Specifically, I said that since Obama was basically governing as a moderate incorporating many Republican ideas, people like him should just declare victory and vote for Obama. His reaction: why don’t I declare defeat and vote Republican?
Hmmm. Well played, sir. We laughed.
I think he thought he had trapped me. If I am asserting that there is no real ideological difference between Obama and Romney, then why not just flip a coin. But if I argue that of course there are differences between the candidates, then why should he vote for Obama over a more conservative candidate?
But that wasn’t exactly what I was arguing. Yes, there are ideological differences between the candidates. But my argument wasn’t to hardcore right wingers. It was to “non-crazy” Republicans.
Republicans who used to believe that Cap and Trade was a market-based approach to an actual existing problem. And Republicans who used to support the individual mandate as the best market-driven approach to the Free Rider problem in healthcare. And Republicans who used to overwhelmingly support Title X and Planned Parenthood because preventing unwanted pregnancies is still the best way to prevent abortions. Mitt Romney has moved far to the right of all of those positions.
Plus, as my brother freely admits, Mitt Romney is a completely rudderless political hack with no evident personal convictions. He is, as Jon Huntsman described him, a perfectly lubricated weather vane.
I still think there’s a strong case to be made to moderate Republicans (and pink unicorns) for Obama’s re-election. But even for true conservatives who are intellectually honest about the facts of the case, Obama should look pretty good.